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We were delighted to welcome prospective families to our Open Morning this week. As guests entered Memorial Hall they were treated to a pipe organ recital by Year 12 International Baccalaureate music student Jules Sheedy. Jules’ superb organ performance alone summarised everything there is to say about the real power of an education in a single sex environment – a common topic of enquiry at our Open Mornings. A single sex education gives all members of our School community the opportunity to normalise the right behaviours and attributes of both learning and relationships. It is an enormously powerful opportunity to cast away community stereotypes, foster creativity and build a culture of respect. At St Peter’s College, playing the organ, like so many other activities, is not only normal, but is encouraged and admired.

I often remind students that at St Peter’s College it is possible to be an artist, an athlete and an academic concurrently. Each of these pursuits can be achieved at the same time, as was clearly evidenced at our traditional Academic Muster last Thursday. Whilst Nick Carter, Academic Deputy read out our top 20 students’ lengthy lists of achievements, what was most apparent was the well-rounded and comprehensive nature of their accomplishments. From music, to sport, to service and academia, these extensive lists reflected the students’ great character, their tremendous self-discipline and the fact they are also wonderful human beings.

The impressive character of our Year 12 prefects also shone through this week as they ably guided prospective parents on Open Morning tours of the campus. I encouraged these parents to converse with the students, to press firmly to test for the unique soul of our School and to discover the integrity of our community. By all accounts the results of their ‘press tests’ were glowing endorsements of the School’s integrity and soul and I thank our students for their time and candour.

As we prepare our students to enter a world where they should expect to be working with and for women it is pleasing to know our students are competent and confident in dealing with all members of the community and that they can collaborate, be creative, serve and also lead. This preparation is an important responsibility and one we must get right. At all times we must ensure we are active in reinforcing the right behaviours, pathways and attributes of relationships and learning for every student and hold them to account for their actions and interactions. This reinforcement applies for all activities that occur in both school life and social life.

Our values of truth, respect and service guide our behaviour and the moral code of staff and students; whether they are in uniform or not. Our values clearly encapsulate a culture of acceptance of others, mutual respect for all, being true to oneself and others, and working for the greater benefit of everyone in the community.

Please know that any and every member of our community is encouraged to feed back to the School or make contact with my office at any time regarding behaviour that contradicts these values.

For those that can make it, I look forward to joining you at our welcome cocktail event this evening.

Tim Browning